Austrian bearing specialist NKE has developed a modular bearing systems for planetary gears in wind turbine gearboxes.
NKE’s bearing systems consist of cylindrical roller bearings that are fitted directly into the planetary wind turbine gear. The bore of the gear acts as the outer raceway, so that the bearings themselves do not have an outer ring.
The wind turbine bearings have bore diameters of 160, 190 and 200 mm, with versions up to 220 mm currently being developed.
To further boost their load capacity, the cylindrical roller bearings feature an improved internal design that is even stronger than that of the standard types, NKE says.
These wind turbine bearings are fitted with an inner race-guided, one-piece brass cage, which contains inspection grooves for endoscopic condition assessment of the inner race surface as standard. For higher loads and wider gears, the bearings can be assembled to sets of two, three or four bearings.
NKE says the designs of the planetary bearings can be standardised and that the planetary gear design can be unified for the first and second gear stage and across various gearbox sizes.